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Rapid Lake, Que. – October 2, 2017 – On September 28, UFCW Canada activists joined Indigenous leaders and volunteers from I Love First Peoples for a celebration of the students at Kitiganik School in Rapid Lakes, Quebec, who recently created Traditional Territory Plaques to honour the ancestral lands on which UFCW Canada Local Union offices are located.
As part of the 56-plaque project, the elementary school children at Kitiganik used their creativity and imagination to illustrate what reconciliation means to them. The drawings were then submitted to UFCW Canada and turned into plaques, with additional content gathered in consultation with Indigenous leaders and UFCW Canada’s national partner, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
At the celebration, UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema and representatives from the Human Rights, Equity & Diversity Department presented the Kitiganik students with a mural displaying all of the children’s Traditional Territory Plaques, and thanked the students for their amazing work on the project.
“The friendship that has been established between UFCW Canada, I Love First Peoples, and the students at Kitiganik is very special,” says Paul Meinema, the National President of UFCW Canada. “Connecting with Indigenous children and with organizations that promote the health and well-being of First Nations communities is critical in advancing reconciliation, and in fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action,” he adds.
Over the last several years, UFCW Canada has worked diligently to build relationships that promote reconciliation with Indigenous communities in Canada and foster diversity and inclusion in workplaces and communities across the country. Part of that work includes our support for I Love First Peoples, whose Shoebox initiative helps Indigenous students at Kitiganik and countless other schools achieve their educational goals. For more information on UFCW Canada’s programming and partnerships on reconciliation and indigenous rights, click here.